The more I screamed, the more the volume and intensity of the waterfall. Owu, it’s like, we are of great like-minds. we are adventurous…
Owu waterfalls is located in Owa-Onire village, Ifelodun local government area, Kwara state, Kwara state, said to have been discovered by a local hunter, Jimoh Aremu but brought to limelight by a missionary over 40 years ago, Reverend Plafare Dui. Its height is breathtaking, about 120m above sea level, gushing 330 feet down an escarpment, with rocky outcrops collected at the base as a natural swimming pool.
A Chief hunter and a palm wine tapper from Oyo state named Jimoh Aremu went hunting in the forest one day when he came across a crack in the ground with clean trickling water flowing. There, he quenched his thirst. Oh, this source of water and the green environment would be good to start a community, he thought, so he went back home to tell his people he had found a better land with clean drinking water for inhabiting and they followed him to the place to settle. The place was named Owa Orioke (a settlement on the hill) and he was crowned with the chieftaincy title of Eesa.
A Settlement on the hill
After Settling on the hill, Jimoh, out of curiosity, said to himself, I need to find where this water flows to then he went on an expedition down the hill alone, as soon as he got to the point of the massive waterfall, he had to summon his members. There were no phones or emails or postmasters, the only means of communication was by making sounds, then he made a loud sound to alert his member thus, ooooo wuuu, oooooo wuuu, his members, on hearing his call said to themselves, wait, isn’t that Chief (Eesa) calling? they decided to heed to his call and the waterfall was named Esa onwu, meaning the place where the chief is calling. Subsequently, the inhabitants settled downwards then named the area “Owa Onire”.
Reverend Plafare Dui came to Owu some 40 years ago during missionary activities for the Sudan Interior Mission, now known as Evangelical Church of West Africa. (ECWA), with his inability to pronounce the full name shortened it to Owu and projected the waterfall to the world.
Myth has it that there lived a rainbow and an anaconda that threatened the lives of the community before. A sacrifice of 2 kola nuts, palm wine and red oil were made to appease the anaconda from killing and swallowing humans and ever since, the anaconda stopped the killings so, at every festival, the sacrifices are offered. Another tale has it that “God in His infinite mercies and love for His people struck the snake with thunder, and miraculously sent the dangerous birds away”.
Owu falls, rich with lush green vegetation makes the environment attractive to visitors and other creatures like birds, monkeys and reptiles. The waterfall, rocks, hills, flora and fauna have turned the falls into a nature seekers delight.
Owu waterfall has a potential of becoming a tourist hub but presently the area is under neglect and underdevelopment by the government. Getting to the waterfall is through a rough untarred road with undulating slopes which is a form of adventure and excitement on its own. It’s also a perfect place for adventure tourism as swimming, bungee jumping, bird watching, or hiking.
Owu falls is surrounded by a stretch of mountains extending to Ekiti and Kogi states.
ooooowu, oooowu, I’m off for a swim, don’t say I didn’t alert you…